Gillan appointed Welsh Secretary

Cheryl Gillan is waiting to hear if she has been appointed Welsh secretary in the new Conservative-Liberal coalition government.

Cardiff-born Mrs Gillan, 58, has served as shadow Welsh secretary since 2005 and has been Conservative MP for Chesham and Amersham since 1992.

Wales Office ministerial appointments are not expected until later.

The Cabinet post of Scottish secretary was given to Liberal Democrat MP Danny Alexander.

He was part of his party’s negotiating team.

In all, five Liberal Democrats have been given cabinet jobs, including party leader Nick Clegg, who is the new deputy prime minister.

Mrs Gillan served as a Conservative spokesman on trade and industry, foreign affairs and home affairs before succeeding Bill Wiggin, an opponent of the Welsh assembly, as Shadow Welsh Secretary in December 2005.

She had earlier served as a junior minister in the Department for Education and Employment in the last two years of the John Major government.

Meanwhile, the assembly government’s deputy first minister said they have "no plan" to deal with an estimated £220m cut to the Welsh budget this year.

The Conservative-Lib Dem coalition at Westminster has announced it will press ahead with billions of pounds of cuts immediately, to start dealing with the UK budget deficit.

‘Positive’

Ieuan Wyn Jones said the implications of proposed cuts at Westminster were very serious for Wales.

His current estimate is that this will see more than £200m taken from the Welsh budget in this financial year – money already allocated to health, education and local government.

Mr Jones said the Plaid-Labour government in Cardiff Bay had "no plan" to deal with this, and it would be very difficult to manage.

He added that he didn’t believe Chancellor George Osborne’s offer to delay the cuts in Wales for a year was deliverable.

However, Welsh Conservatives figures have said the new administration will be "sensitive to the needs of Wales".

Conservative assembly leader Nick Bourne AM said: "This agreement will bring stability to government and I look forward to working with the new Westminster team which I am sure will be sensitive to the needs and aspirations of Wales.

"We all want to develop a positive working relationship between the UK and assembly governments, and between Westminster and the assembly to deliver the best possible outcomes for Wales."

Earlier, First Minister Carwyn Jones said he looked forward to a "constructive" and "businesslike relationship with the new UK government".

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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